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One summer day, Libby and her best friend hatch a plan: Before their freshman year is over, they will each have a serious kiss. Libby even has the boy picked out. But Libby's too-crazy-to-believe parents have another plan: They're moving. To the middle of nowhere. Far from Libby's friends, all hope of a normal life, and kissing, serious or otherwise.
Just when things are completely falling apart, Libby starts to wonder, Is being happy really about a perfect plan? And if she stops planning, could that be the key to happiness -- and to a perfect, incredible, wonderful, serious kiss?
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Mary Hogan grew up near the beaches of Southern California (Bikinis! Aargh!), but currently lives in New York City with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Axel. She is the author of Perfect Girl, The Serious Kiss, Susanna Sees Stars, and Susanna Hits Hollywood.From Booklist:
Gr. 7-10. A San Fernando Valley girl and high-school freshman, Libby Madrigal is, like most teens, mortified by her family. Older brother Rif smokes on the sly, little brother Dirk drools, her mom is loud, fat, and relentlessly cheerful, their ancient Chihuahua yips constantly and poops in front of boys Libby likes, and her dad is an abusive alcoholic whose disease is tearing their family apart. This is a somewhat disconcerting but ultimately effective look at alcoholism within a family. The initial lighthearted tone alternates with screaming parental fights and tense family meals, but the narrative eventually settles into the darker reality of Libby's despair and anger as her father's many failures force the family to move, to get counseling, and to begin the road back to some sort of functionality. The cover photo of a cringing Chihuahua with a huge lipstick kiss emphasizes the light side; readers anticipating comedy may be in for a shock. Debbie Carton
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